Counting Down to Camino Real’s World Premiere with Choreographer Helen Pickett
30 days until the world premiere of Camino Real. Wow!
How did that happen? Only 30 days?
I remember the first time I read it, 5 years ago. That is when I found an “old bit of blue ribbon” for my pocket to serve as a reminder for the “distance that I have gone and distance I have yet to go” (Williams 9). On this side of the slope, the speed increases. The days seem to equal minutes as I watch the set come to fruition and the costumes made real. The planning is done. The building is well under way.
Now, I go into my last stretch of choreography, editing and coaching. Now, the dancers start to complete their last advance into their characters. We dig deeper. We ask more questions. We rehearse steps repeatedly, so the characters bloom through the steps. We become Camino Real.
What will I do on March 20th, when Camino Real IS?
I will sit back and breathe out, a long enjoyable breath. Yes, there will be relief, but I will also miss this complex, gritty, gorgeous, dynamite roller coaster of a play. Yes, I will miss walking with it every day. I will miss the need to investigate the details of Camino Real. And at the same time, I will enjoy giving it completely to the dancers. I will enjoy knowing it lives through them.
What a ride! And Atlanta Ballet, every department, has not only supported this adventure, but also gotten on the rollercoaster.
I think there will be a lot of joyful howling when the curtain goes up on opening night. I will certainly raise a glass to everyone!
Thank you for this most incredible journey. Can’t wait for the NEXT, where I will walk “with a new companion” (9).
And as our hero, Kilroy, says at the end of the play: “Well, I was thinking of ----going on from----here" (112)!
Onward and Upward!
“The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks!"
- Tennessee Williams, Camino Real, New Directions Publishing Company (2008), p. 114
Click here to access more information on the production and to secure your tickets!
Previous Posts from Helen Pickett
Williams, Tennessee. Camino Real / by Tennessee Williams ; introduction by John Guare. New York: New Directions Publishing Company, 2008. Print.
Atlanta Ballet Company dancers Tara Lee and Heath Gill rehearse A Ballet Based on Camino Real by Tennessee WIlliams. Photo by Charlie McCullers.